The Quilt Index is a searchable database featuring thousands of quilts from documentation projects, museums, libraries, and private collections, including:

The Alliance for American Quilts (AAQ), MATRIX: Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online and Michigan State University Museum present the Quilt Index. MSU staff members lead project work, in consultation with AAQ, the Quilt Index Task Force, the Quilt Index Editorial Board, and representatives from each contributor.

The project has been supported by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Collections and ExhibitsEdit

Although the Quilt Index is not an actual museum site with in-house collections, the Index does have online exhibitions which highlight works in its digital collection. These include:

  • Since Kentucky: Surveying State Quilts
  • Mary Schafer: Quilter, Quilt Collector, and Quilt Historian
  • Redwork: An American Textile Tradition

The overall collection includes quilts made from the early nineteenth century to the twenty-first century, representing a wide range of quilting styles, techniques, purposes and functions.

Users can browse for quilts based on their time period, location of origin, style, purpose, or by the collection in which they are now housed, or search for specific quilts by a variety of metadata, including pattern, quilter and identification number.


The Quilt Index Wiki which became live in August 2008, is a collaborative, user-generated tool for quilters and quilt scholars featuring information about state and provincial quilt documentation projects, including publication lists and locations where records are housed. The wiki also provides an expanding directory of museums with quilt collections, and information about those collections. Users can also add information about local, regional and national oral history projects relating to quilt history to the wiki. The wiki is powered by MediaWiki software. Although not fully WYSIWYG, instructions for editing the wiki are available on its main page.

Conference PresentationsEdit

  • Mary Worrall, “Textiles and Technology: The Quilt Index as a National Model for Online Thematic Collections,” Michigan Museums Association, Flint, MI, 2006.
  • Mary Worrall, “Piecing History: Quilt Documentation and the Quilt Index,” Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, 2006.
  • Marsha MacDowell, Mary Worrall, Patricia Crews, Jennifer Gilbert, Justine Richardson, “Stitching Data: The Quilt Index as a National Model for Online Thematic Collections Session,” American Association of Museums Annual Meeting and Expo, Boston, MA, April 29, 2006.

Copyright IssuesEdit

Contributors to the Quilt Index retain copyright to their contributions of data (both text and images), and agree to permanently license these contributions to the Quilt Index to display on the website for educational purposes.

References Edit

  1. The Quilt Index – About. Retrieved 21 August 2008.
  2. Justine Richardson, Michael Fegan, Mark Kornbluh and Marsha MacDowell, "Bits & Bolts to Bits & Bytes: The Quilt Index Online Repository and Distributed Archival Management System." Museums and the Web Online Conference Proceedings, Washington, DC, April 2004.

External linksEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.